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Honing the Lance: A BattleTech Mech Build Guide

Thu May 24, 2018 11:57 am

If you’ve recently jumped into Harebrained Schemes BattleTech, you’ve undoubtedly gotten a sense that as much of the game takes place in the Mech Bay as on the field.

http://www.strategygamer.com/articles/b ... ild-guide/

Arkonor
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:33 pm

Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:54 pm

Respectfully disagree, but I'm not a pro player (still, I have beaten the campaign, and currently I'm playing Career mode on high difficulty)

I tend to divide my mechs in these three-roles: long range, medium range and melee. Light scouts tend to be medium range, since they have to be relatively close to the enemy, but not close enough to be destroyed in melee combat (which makes them easy to hit even with lots of evasion pips). Brawlers are mostly dedicated to deal lots of damage at short-medium range, or even melee. And long range is obviously reserved for LRMs and snipers

The main problem I usually have is that I don't build my lances based on heat sinking abilities, which makes them bad at it, but usually they can withstand damage and go full-melee when that happens (provided that I destroy firestarter mechs as soon as possible) That's why biomes are mostly a general indicator of the mission's difficulty.

I want as much damage as possible in a singe spot of the enemy mech's armor (except for missiles, obviously), so I rather have Large lasers, PPCs and AC10/20, than lots of medium lasers. Dealing lots of damage to a single point is vital from half of the game, when you are able to get pilots with called shot bonuses. Disabling the main threats of an enemy (such as the AC20 on a hunchback) makes them much less relevant in the fight (except if they hit hard at melee range, but then I will blow one of its legs shooting at it from the side) And this strategy is also great at destroying vehicles (breaking a single part destroys the entire vehicle)

A great scout/brawler/melee fighter for the later stages of the game is the Dragon. It's a beast that can wear lots of armor, move fast, and hit even harder than an assault mech (provided you add arm mods) However, when being able to field several assault mechs, just remove the dragon from your lance because it's too squishy against assault mechs. I haven't tried fitting it with ECM modules though

For the initial stages, I'd rather have a firestarter that have as many small lasers as possible, instead of flamers) Flamers on the other hand are useful if you are fighting against an enemy player's lance. But I'd rather disable an enemy mech destroying side torsos, or head hunting with the AC20. Or at worst, breaking something with a powerful melee attack.

And a personal preference is trying to add as many jumpjets as possible before taking into account weapon loadout. Unless not having them allows me to fit something huge like an AC20 on a medium mech (but again, it's possible to fit an AC20 with jumpjets on a Blackjack) (worth it at one-shotting light mechs that didn't move a lot, or wrecking their heavier mechs)

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EICJoe
Posts: 821
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:50 pm

Re:

Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:29 am

Respectfully disagree, but I'm not a pro player (still, I have beaten the campaign, and currently I'm playing Career mode on high difficulty)

I tend to divide my mechs in these three-roles: long range, medium range and melee. Light scouts tend to be medium range, since they have to be relatively close to the enemy, but not close enough to be destroyed in melee combat (which makes them easy to hit even with lots of evasion pips). Brawlers are mostly dedicated to deal lots of damage at short-medium range, or even melee. And long range is obviously reserved for LRMs and snipers

The main problem I usually have is that I don't build my lances based on heat sinking abilities, which makes them bad at it, but usually they can withstand damage and go full-melee when that happens (provided that I destroy firestarter mechs as soon as possible) That's why biomes are mostly a general indicator of the mission's difficulty.

I want as much damage as possible in a singe spot of the enemy mech's armor (except for missiles, obviously), so I rather have Large lasers, PPCs and AC10/20, than lots of medium lasers. Dealing lots of damage to a single point is vital from half of the game, when you are able to get pilots with called shot bonuses. Disabling the main threats of an enemy (such as the AC20 on a hunchback) makes them much less relevant in the fight (except if they hit hard at melee range, but then I will blow one of its legs shooting at it from the side) And this strategy is also great at destroying vehicles (breaking a single part destroys the entire vehicle)

A great scout/brawler/melee fighter for the later stages of the game is the Dragon. It's a beast that can wear lots of armor, move fast, and hit even harder than an assault mech (provided you add arm mods) However, when being able to field several assault mechs, just remove the dragon from your lance because it's too squishy against assault mechs. I haven't tried fitting it with ECM modules though

For the initial stages, I'd rather have a firestarter that have as many small lasers as possible, instead of flamers) Flamers on the other hand are useful if you are fighting against an enemy player's lance. But I'd rather disable an enemy mech destroying side torsos, or head hunting with the AC20. Or at worst, breaking something with a powerful melee attack.

And a personal preference is trying to add as many jumpjets as possible before taking into account weapon loadout. Unless not having them allows me to fit something huge like an AC20 on a medium mech (but again, it's possible to fit an AC20 with jumpjets on a Blackjack) (worth it at one-shotting light mechs that didn't move a lot, or wrecking their heavier mechs)
Thanks for sharing your own specs! Really interesting to see how other people build their Lances.
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jamert8909
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:20 am

Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:35 am

Same, I like to specialize. I???m still pretty early in, but my main lance has (1) Support: 25 LRM rocket salvo with 1000+ ammo total, using Glitch and she can golfer up to 90%acc before skill buff, (2) ???Melee???: hunchback with AC20, 15 rounds, melee mod, max armor, (3) Mid-range: 5 M Laser, (4) med/long range: AC5, 2 L laser. Used to run a Locust with max armor and a soldier with bulwark as a scout for my support. Damn could that thing take a surprising amount of hits thanks to dumb armor and evasion. Still run for some missions. The support and melee are my standards. Other two swap out occasionally.

dark_satellites
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:04 am

Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:22 am

Thanks for the write up! Still on base game/no DLC run, about to pass the final mission gate, and I have to say one of my favorite builds is the LRM only "gunboat", which right now is a Jagermech with 3x LRM 20s and 8x LRM ammo. That leaves so little armor that it must be behind cover at all times, at the limit of its range, but that glass cannon fragility balance is part of the fun for me. Also, not a build class per se, but I also love my Highlander mounting dual AC 20+++s on the right arm for 240 total damage: a super-shotgun that can core just about anything but the big 'uns in one shot (adding some SRM 6s to the strike helps with them).

CuRoi
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:46 am

Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:27 am

Great run down. Here's my thoughts.

Stop selling your Firestarters. They've got to be IMO one of the best units in game. Sure, out there alone, they're quickly torn up by heavy mechs. But as a flanker and general party crasher? I've shredded Assault mechs with Firestarters. Forget flamers, that's way too situational. Load the down with machine guns, small and medium lasers. After a few solid hits from snipers, support fire, or front line mechs to soften a target, a Firestarter darting out of cover to hose them down with machine gun fire can trigger some serious crit cascades! (Of course, I often use called shots to target sections with stored ammo specifically for this reason. Others headhunt, but I find the headshot, even with highly skilled gunners, to be too rare for my tastes. An ammo explosions causes pilot damage, destroys the location and injures the pilot.)

I never go for all-around mechs. I highly specialize them. My lance frequently consists of a missile boat loaded with as many LRM racks as possible, a lighter, manuverable unit which can be a scout and/or sniper, and two front line fighters, usually brimming with short to mid range weapons.

I never stop to respec for individual missions. If I don't have the right makeup in the bays, I make do. I've been exclusively playing career mode and time is your enemy. Hundreds of days sounds like a lot but the best way to maximize your career is to maximize time. Repairs and rebuilds run in the background constantly. Best time for mech downtime is during transit. Warp in, clear out the mission board ASAP and warp out.

Other thoughts on specific mechs: the Dragon is an underrated mech. Sure, the loadout sucks, but I've been in too many fights where they get absolutely pummeled and keep fighting. Also surprised you don't mention the Grasshopper. It's like a nimble Hunchback bounding across the battlefield and unloading an ultraviolet barrage. Good times.

And, finally, it's good to point out many mechs can be rendered harmless by simply targetting weapon systems with called shots. Blow off a Panther's right arm, Hunchbacks right torso, a Blackjacks weak arms, etc. and often it is as good as a kill until the Firestarter can swoop in and clean them up.

    

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